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Police arrest Ottumwa student for bringing knife to school

Evans Middle School/KTVO

An Ottumwa middle school student now faces a felony charge, after police say she brought a knife to school last month.

Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew said officers arrested the 13-year-old Evans Middle School student Thursday, and charged her with Going Armed with Intent, a Class D Felony.

The charge stems from an incident reported at Evans Nov. 28. Witnesses tell police the student made a comment off campus about using a knife to assault another student.

School officials were made aware of this threat. When the student arrived to school that day, administrators searched her belongings and she was found in possession of the knife. McAndrew said the student was immediately suspended from school grounds. She was arrested a week later.

McAndrew said the student will not be detained for this charge, however, she will be required to report to juvenile authorities.

The day of the incident, Ottumwa Superintendent Nicole Kooiker made parents aware of the situation, by issuing the following statement:

"Whenever there is a threat made, we take the situation seriously and involve law enforcement in the process. The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority and we are appreciative that when students hear or see something, they say something so action can be taken. We are grateful that everyone is safe and the situation has been addressed."

The police department has previously investigated several reports of students bringing weapons to the middle school. In May, a student was disciplined for also having a knife at school. And in January, another student was charged after law enforcement confiscated two knives and a BB gun from their possession.

During Monday night's school board meeting, the district discussed such incidents, and developed strategies to prevent more from occurring.

Last spring, teachers at Evans were asked to remind students of the school's weapon policy, which also requires all students to report suspicious activity. School officials tell KTVO these preventative measures seem to be working. While the district has dealt with additional incidents within the last month, officials say the number of reports this year, has declined since this time last year.

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